New PDF release: Anonyponymous: The Forgotten People Behind Everyday Words

By John Marciano

ISBN-10: 1596916532

ISBN-13: 9781596916531

An encyclopedia of linguistic biographies: the witty, illustrated tales of the Earl of Sandwich, Charles Boycott, and different historic figures higher often called phrases than humans.

Eponymous, adj. Giving one’s identify to someone, position, or factor.

Anonymous, adj. Anonymous.

Anonyponymous, adj. Anonymous and eponymous.

The Earl of Sandwich, keen on salted pork and coupled slices of toast, came upon a unique option to consume all of them jointly. Etienne de Silhouette, a former French finance minister, used to be so notoriously reasonable that his identify grew to become a byword for chintzy practices—such as substituting a darkened define for a formal painted portrait. either bequeathed their names to the language, yet neither guy is remembered.

In this smart and humorous booklet, John Bemelmans Marciano illuminates the lives of those anonyponymous individuals. a type of encyclopedia of linguistic biographies, the ebook is prepared alphabetically, giving the tales of all people from Abu “algorithm” Al-Khwarizmi to count number Ferdinand von Zeppelin. in addition to them you'll locate the likes of Harry Shrapnel, Joseph-Ignace Guillotine, and plenty of other folks whose vernacular legacies have lengthy outlived their reminiscence.

Accented via fun line pix and brief etymological essays on matters like “superhero eponyms,” Anonyponymous is either a compendium of minutiae and a window into the interesting international of etymology.  rigorously curated and unfailingly witty, this ebook is either an exquisite present for language fanatics and a real excitement to learn.

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Extra info for Anonyponymous: The Forgotten People Behind Everyday Words

Example text

Roughly speaking, dysphemism is the opposite of euphemism and, by and large, it is tabooed. Like euphemism, it is sometimes motivated by fear and distaste, but also by hatred and contempt. Speakers resort to dysphemism to talk about people and things that frustrate and annoy them, that they disapprove of and wish to disparage, humiliate and degrade. Dysphemisms are therefore characteristic of political groups and cliques talking about their opponents; of feminists speaking about men; and also of male larrikins and macho types speaking of women and effete behaviours.

An innocuous word like telephone is normally an orthophemism but it may occur in an utterance that is made referentially dysphemistic by the addition of an expletive as in He’s on the bleeding telephone still or He keeps fucking telephoning me! We have argued that it is the particular context of use which determines the true Xphemistic value of a given occurrence of a language expression. To address Jesus Christ in prayer makes orthophemistic use of Jesus Christ; the same words uttered when swearing are often dysphemistic and tabooed.

We have seen that infractions of taboos can lead to illness or death, as well as to the lesser penalties of corporal punishment, incarceration, social ostracism or mere disapproval. Even an unintended violation of taboo risks condemnation; but generally speaking, people can and do avoid tabooed behaviour, unless they intend a taboo violation. A taboo is a proscription of behaviour for a specifiable community of people, for a specified context, at a given place and time. There is no such thing as an absolute taboo that holds for all worlds, times and contexts.

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Anonyponymous: The Forgotten People Behind Everyday Words by John Marciano

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